This is a project about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected arrangements for agencies that work in partnership within local communities to deal with difficult and complex social problems. It is increasingly well-known that the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in society - these are also the people who are most likely to rely on services provided at the local level. Many of these services require partnership responses. For the last few decades, partnerships between agencies have increasingly been recognised as key to tackling complex issues like homelessness, criminal offending, deprivation, ill-health, addictions and social care - all of which tend to reflect wider social and economic inequalities. These 'wicked problems' (Buchanan, 1995) might require input from social work, the NHS, charities and criminal justice agencies among others. We intend to investigate the impact of Covid-19 and its associated 'lockdown' measures on the operation of these local partnerships. The pandemic has created significant extra demand for some local services while also putting new financial strains on local authorities. Partnership arrangements have tended to depend on regular meetings between relevant individuals from partner organisations, and it will not have been possible to conduct these in the lockdown. We are interested in considering this dynamic and its impact on both those working in the partnerships and on the service users. Furthermore, over this period local government has also been subject to major long-term budget cuts, including under 'austerity' policies enacted by the UK government since the 2007-8 financial crisis. For most local authorities, the context is one of long-term financial strain, not just the short-term impact of the pandemic. However, there is also evidence that the crisis has led local partnerships to work innovatively and quickly to deal with complex social problems at the local level. Notably, there was significant success in reducing street homelessness in the early months of the lockdown (Teixeira, 2020), while the shift to remote working is likely to have created some efficiencies as well as challenges. We will be focusing on local partnership arrangements in Scotland because local government in Scotland has significantly greater autonomy relative to central government, and because partnership has been a particularly essential element of Scotland's political response to austerity. We will carry out the research in two stages - an online survey of all 32 Scottish local authorities, followed by a series of interviews with people working in different types of local partnership within local authorities. We will then analyse the data and publicise our key findings - first to relevant stakeholders and then to the academic community. Any academic outputs from this project will be made available 'open access' (so that anybody can read them) under UKRI policy. We believe this research will contribute to helping local councils respond to Covid-19 and to other crises, and hence to reducing the unequal impacts of these crises on the most deprived and marginalised groups in society.